Clinical & Hazardous Waste

What is Clinical Waste?

Clinical waste refers to any waste that consits wholly or partly of:

  • human or animal tissue
  • excretions
  • swabs or dressings
  • blood or bodily fluids
  • drugs or other pharmaceutical products
  • sharpes including syringes, needles or other sharp instruments. 

Additional care must be taken in diposing of this type of waste from the home and must be treated in the following way:

Clinical Waste Disposal 

The Council of the Isles of Scilly does not collect or process clinical waste or sharps bins.

For advise and disposal arrangements please contact St Mary's Hospital on 01720 422392.

Unwanted medicines and pills must be returned to a pharmacy for safe disposal. 

Offensive Household Clinical Waste

  • gloves and aprons
  • incontinence pads
  • disposable nappies
  • non-infectious dressings
  • catheter bags
  • syringes used for food products
  • santiary towels and tampons 

These items can be placed in a black residual waste sack for collection by the Council if you have less than one third of a bag.

The waste should be double wrapped and disposed of along with your other household waste. 

If the amount you have is greater than one third of a bag you need to contact St Mary's Hospital for advice. 

Hazardous Waste

You must dispose of hazardous waste safely. This includes items such as household batteries, car oil, and paint containing harmful chemicals.

The Council does not collect hazardous waste as part of your weekly household collection. 

Types of waste which are hazardous:

  • asbestos
  • pesticides
  • chemicals
  • fluorescent tubes
  • oils
  • some paints
  • some household and car batteries
  • discarded electrical equipment e.g TV's, monitors, fridges & freezers
  • discarded energy saving lightbulbs (also known as CFLs)

Where to take your hazardous waste

All our waste & recycling sites across the islands can accept some types of hazardous waste. Please ring the Council on 01720 424450 or email if you would like specific advise. 

How to dispose of asbestos

Only bonded asbestos which is double bagged can be disposed of at our waste and recycling site, and only in separate skips. If you need to dispose of this material, you must inform us before you visit our sites as we have strict controls in place to manage health & safety. Call 01720 424450 or email to make a booking.

If you are intending to dispose of bonded asbestos at the Porthmellon Waste and Recycling Centre (commercial or household) please follow these instructions:

  • Contact the waste site to purchase our bonded asbestos disposal bags, £5.50 for two bags. 
  • Double bag and seal the bonded asbestos.
  • Book a slot at the waste site by phone or email
  • Deposit your waste at your allotted time and date making sure to receive help from our waste site staff, to ensure health and safety measures are adhered to at all times.
  • Under any circumstances, do not dispose of bonded asbestos unsupervised.

There are conditions relating to the disposal of this waste from domestic properties. The amount of waste disposed of per day must be either:

  • less than 100 litres and capable of fitting into 4 x 25 litre bags, or
  • a single article of waste no larger than 2000mm x 750mm x 700mm in size

Householders may book up to 4 visits to dispose of any domestic DIY waste in any four-week period.

Disposing of Paint

We encourage everyone to reduce the amount of waste they create. So, if you can sell or give away any paint then please do so before considering disposal of this material.

Handy tip: if you have lots of white or light paint use this as undercoat. 

Water based 'emulsion' paint can be disposed of in your normal black bag waste, but it must be dried out first. This is because there are restrcitions on the disposal of liquid chemical waste. To dry your paint, take the lid off, add some sand, sawdust or cat litter and leave for several weeks. 

Fees and charges are in place for the disposal of household and commercial solvent based paint as this is costly for the Council to dispose of.  

Flares and Explosives 

Flares and explosives are not accepted at any of the Council's waste & recycling sites.